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Regular version of the site

Admissions campaign 2021

The Doctoral School in Mathematics of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia is pleased to announce 29 fully funded PhD positions in all areas of mathematics and theoretical physics, starting in November 2021. Scholarships will be awarded to all successful candidates, subject to the conditions given below in section After selection procedure.

Mathematics at the HSE

The Faculty of Mathematics has over 130 members, including 14 invited ICM speakers. Our main research areas are algebraic geometry, geometric and algebraic topology, differential equations, dynamical systems, representation theory, functional analysis, logic and algorithms, and mathematical and theoretical physics.

Some of our recent PhD graduates have gone on to be welcomed as postdocs and instructors in several of the highest ranked mathematics departments in the world.

Most graduate level courses and research seminars take place in English. Our PhD students who are interested in pure mathematics or theoretical physics can have their theses supervised by any member of

as well as any of the associated international laboratories Research interests of the members of the Faculty of Mathematics and associated laboratories by area 

Graduate students who are interested in applied mathematics could also work with any member of

Programme details, application and selection procedure

The duration of the programme is 4 years. All successful applicants will be offered a tuition waiver, accommodation in a university student residence for a nominal fee (ca. 1000 Russian roubles per month) and a scholarship of 40000 Russian rubles per month.

Some of the successful applicants may instead be awarded a scholarship from the Skolkovo Innovation Centre (ca 75000 Russian roubles per month).

In addition to the above our PhD students benefit from rich social and cultural life in Moscow.

Submitting an application: There are two separate tracks for applying for a PhD position at the HSE, although only one of these will be available to most applicants. Please note that this applies to the selection procedure only, and the rest of the programme, including funding, is the same for all successful applicants.
1. Russian government quotas. Foreign nationals and stateless persons who wish to apply for a PhD position without a tuition fee can only do so electronically from 1 February 2021 until 12 March 2021, except in the cases mentioned below. This option does not involve a foreign language exam, but there is just one deadline, March 12. Interviews with shortlisted candidates will take place shortly afterwards. During the interview applicants may be asked a few simple mathematical questions (GRE level), as well as one or two more advanced questions related to their intended area of research.

2. Regular track. The rest of this subsection (up to "Supporting documents") only applies to Russian citizens, citizens of some former Sovier republics and to applicants one of whose parents or grandparents was a citizen of the fomer USSR. In 2020 the regular track involves two phases and is open to all citizens of Russia and to some citizens of other countries, see below. During phase 1 applicants can submit an application in person to Mr. Alexander Valkovsky or electronically until 12 March, 6pm Moscow time. Please note that before submitting an application via regular track applicants must request a login and password, and it may take up to 24 hours to proceed this request.

Examinations in mathematics and in English, French, German, Spanish or Italian will take place shortly afterwards. Native English speakers are exempted from these exams, and so are applicants who graduated or will graduate in October 2020 at the latest from an MSc programme in which all courses are taught exclusively in English. Applicants who have an international English language certificate may request their marks for the certificate to be translated into exam marks, see article 3.10 of the admission rules for full details. Based on submitted documents, interviews and the results of language exams if applicable the Selection comittee will offer PhD places to up to 22 applicants in late June.

Places not filled during the first phase of the admissions campaign, if any, will be filled during the second phase. Those who wish to submit an application duriong phase 2 can do so from 2 August until 15 September 2021, 6pm Moscow time. The rest of the selection procedure for those applying during phase 2 will be the same as for those applying during phase 1, see above. Nevertheless, all eligible applicants are strongly advised to submit their applications during the first phase. Note also that each applicant may submit an application during phase 1 or phase 2 but not both. 

Citizens of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as stateless persons with a Russian residence permit, may use both of the above two options, and are advised to do so. If one of your direct ancestors was born or resided in the USSR, then you may also be able to use either of the above options, or both (supporting documents required: a passport or a birth certificate issued in the USSR). Please contact the Doctoral School for more information.

All applicants, regardless of their nationality, are advised to email their applications to phdmath@hse.ru, in addition to submitting the applications on line or in person.

Supporting documents 

Documents to submit with the application

  • Application form: regular track (Russian citizens; some citizens of other countries, see above); foreign nationals.  
  • Letter of motivation.
  • CV.
  • At least two reference letters. These should be sent by the refereees directly to phdmath@hse.ru. For applicants currently enrolled in an MSc programme at least one of the reference letters should be from a member of staff of the university where they will obtain by 15 October 2020 their most recent qualification.
  • The name of the prospective thesis supervisor and a tentative title of the thesis; these can be changed afterwards. Applicants are advised to get in touch with their prospective supervisors before submitting an application.
  • Articles, preprints or other mathematical texts (such as a draft MSc or BS thesis), if available.
  • MSc or equivalent diploma. If you don't have an MSc but expect to obtain one by 15 October 2021, please provide your academic record, including the marks for the 1st semester of 2020/21 if available.
  • A research project if available. This could be a short description of the problems you would like to work on if admitted to the programme.
  • Any other relevant information.
  • Candidates who wish to obtain a scholarship must submit by 15 October 2021 one of the following English language certificates with the total score equal to or better than the number in brackets: IELTS (6), TOEFL PBT (500), TOEFL IBT (80). This requirement is waived for native English speakers, as well as for those who graduated or will graduate on 15 October 2021 at the latest from an MSc programme in which all courses are taught exclusively in English.

After selection procedure

All successful applicants must have an MSc or equivalent diploma by 15 October 2021 at the latest. By this date applicants who wish to receive a scholarship must also have one of the following English language certificates with the total score equal to or better than the number in brackets: IELTS (6), TOEFL PBT (500), TOEFL IBT (80). This requirement is waived for native speakers of English, as well as for those who graduated or will graduate on 15 October 2021 at the latest from an MSc programme in which all courses are taught exclusively in English.

For all enquiries please contact School director Alexey Gorinov agorinov@hse.ru or School manager Alexander Valkovsky avalkovskiy@hse.ru.

See also the complete list of events and programmes offered by the Faculty of Mathematics this year.